West Coast Players at LeBron

Demar DeRozan, the 6-6 senior wing, proved to be among the best prospects at the Academy, and 6-4 senior guard Brad Tinsely from Oregon also showed that he could easily succeed playing against this level of talent. Here's a rundown on all of the west coasters at the camp...

Demar DeRozan, the 6-6 senior forward from Compton (Calif.) High who now says he's a solid verbal to USC, was one of the few best – and most consistent – players at the camp. DeRozan was probably the most effective finisher, and combine that with an amazingly improved jumper, and more or less good decision-making, and you have a great prospect.

Hollis Thompson, the 6-6 junior wing from Los Angeles Loyola, did well overall at the camp, even though his style of play doesn't suit this environment. Foolish Thompson wants to pass the ball. He had to lead the camp in feeding the post, and I would bet, if stats had been kept, was among the assist leaders. There were so many times Thompson passed and cut to the basket but his teammate didn't look his way. He had one of the best and quickest strokes in the tournament, too. We're hearing that Duke could be on the verge of offering Thompson a scholarship.

Brad Tinsley, 6-4 senior guard, Oregon City (Ore.) High, was very impressive all camp. He probably was among the few best decision-makers here, very rarely making a mistake. He's deceptive quick, able to get to the basket with a good burst and strength and convert. And then there's that shot. He was truly among the few best shooters in Akron. There might be a question of what guard position he plays, possibly struggling to guard high-major point guards, but that is just a small issue of labeling. If Tinsley's one of the guys in your backcourt you should be happy. California has offered, and he's also seriously considering Pepperdine.

D.J. Seeley, the 6-3 senior guard from Modesto (Calif.) Christian who is committed to Cal, showed flashes of talent – a good outside shot, and some very good quickness, particularly in finishing. He was also out of control at times. If Seeley decides to play within a team concept, he truly has the talent to be an elite college player.

Jeremy Tyler, the 6-9 sophomore center from San Diego (Calif.) High, was among probably the top 5-7 post players at the camp, which is saying something since this camp was loaded with elite post players. He did well taking the ball in deep against bigger and older ;posts, and then showed his touch from the outside. The performance cemented him as one of the top 10 players in the national class of 2010.

Travis Wear and David Wear, the 6-9 juniors from Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, played solidly over the course of the camp. They generally shot well from the outside, made that extra pass and played fundamentally sound, which stands out in this environment. Occasionally they'd post up and use their quickness on the block to score, and you continue to wonder why they don't post up more but play on the perimeter. If fact, in the camp directory, you're defined as a POINT, WING or BIG, and they were classified as wings. The now-accepted thought on the Wears among scouts and college coaches is: "Yeah, they're talented, and fundamentally sound, but when are they going to get to their real position in the post?"

Jordan Hamilton, the 6-6 small forward from Compton (Calif.) Dominguez, had a bit of a different reaction to the me-first environment of camp like this. Hamilton is a talented player who has generally looked for his shot first, in AAU or high school ball. But in this place, where everyone is looking for their shot first, Hamilton passed the ball. Well, he passed the ball more than we're used to seeing him do. Perhaps he realized that in a talent-laden camp like this there are other guys who can play, too? Don't get this wrong – Hamilton didn't suddenly turn into John Stockton, but he did feed the post consistently and look for teammates cutting to the basket. When he does that he becomes such a better player. He did take some ill-advised shots, but it was encouraging to see him want to play more in a team concept. He also was more involved as a rebounder than we had seen him; before he tended to cherry pick. Hopefully this trend for him can continue the rest of July.

Matt Simpkins, 6-8 post from Berkeley (Calif.) High, also responded a little more unselfishly to such a selfish environment. Simpkins usually doesn't make good decisions, but there were stretches in his play where he did here. He did, too, have games where he jacked it up from the outside too often or tried to be a WING. As of right now, it's undetermined whether Simpkins will be part of the 2007 or 2008 class, and it's a good assumption he'll be going to prep school next year.

Mike Harthun, the 6-2 senior guard, Medford (Ore.) South Medford, had a good camp, playing solidly on both ends of the floor. He sometimes was a bit over-matched athletically, occasionally struggling to get the ball up the floor against quicker athletes, but he was clever enough to get it done. He then shot the ball well, especially in his pull-up mid-range.

Andy Brown, the 6-7 junior post, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, struggled with the athleticism he was playing aganst here, which got him completely out of his game and his shot. It's funny that the Wears were listed as WINGS while their Mater Dei teammate Brown was listed as a BIG.

UCLA-committed Drew Gordon, the 6-9 senior post from San Jose (Calif.) Archbishop Mitty, didn't play due to his broken hand. He told us Monday that he's heading back home to get it x-rayed again.

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